DUNDALK — Turner Station Conservation Team and the Baltimore County Police Department organized a community walk through the historic Turner Station neighborhood on Nov. 6, hoping to form positive relationships between law enforcement and residents.
“A lot of the communities have been echoing that they want old-school community policing back, like it used to be,” Gloria Nelson said.
In decades past, Turner Station was a community were police officers would stroll the neighborhood, Nelson said. Police and residents knew each other by name.
“We only know our outreach officers that come to our monthly meetings, so the community has no trust,” Nelson said. “We’re trying to rebuild that. We want people to come out say hello, and introduce themselves to the police. We want stronger relationships between the communities, and the police themselves because the police travel around in their patrol cars, and we don’t know who’s who."
Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said she made a commitment to get more involved with community engagement when she stepped into her position in June.
“It’s important to be out here,” Hyatt said.
“One of the commitments that we’ve made to the community was that we would be back. If they had a request for us to come out, we would do a walk with them and see things from their perspective, in terms of concerns they have in the community and things that they’d like help with.”
Captain Glen Wiedeck of Precinct 12 wanted to show the community that the police are here to support them.
“We want to hear the problems they deal with,” Wiedeck said.
Nelson acknowledged that it takes time to form relationships between law enforcement and the community, but said "this is a start."
The next community walk in Turner Station will be in the spring.